Questions involving philosophy of mathematics

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5
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0answers
29 views

Codifying ways to think and write about imprecise ideas?

This question will not be about affine spaces; rather those are mentioned here as one of many examples. A vector space has an underlying set and a field of scalars and an operation of linear ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Geometries (Euclidean and Projective)

We can think of Euclidean Geometry and Cartesian (Coordinate) Geometry as equivalent, in the sense that some proposition is true in Euclidean Geometry iff it's true in Coordinate Geometry. It makes ...
0
votes
0answers
99 views

If the Planck length exists, why doesn't it follow then that the world is one-dimensional? [on hold]

As I understand it, the planck length means that space itself as we preceive it is quantized. We think of space as 3-dimensional, right? But if there truly is a planck length, to me that shows that ...
6
votes
0answers
102 views

Will Mathematical discoveries slow down? [on hold]

With more and more Mathematics being discovered through time is it not the case that to make new discoveries, old theorems would have to be learned? Therefore would this not mean that there is a point ...
13
votes
4answers
204 views

Which mathematical ideas most influenced the way you think?

This is not a question about how you use a formula or mathematical method to solve quantitative problems - that is applied mathematics. Rather, I'd like to hear how deeper ideas gained through the ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Why Maximize Expected Value?

In many instances I've come across (in Game Theory, etc), when trying to choose an optimal strategy it has the criterion that it wants to maximize expected value much of the time. To simplify this ...
0
votes
5answers
319 views

Are the real numbers really uncountable?

Consider the following statement Every real number must have a definition in order to be discussed. What this statement doesn't specify is how that loose-specific that definition is. Some examples ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory the natural numbers defines $1$ as $1 = \{\{\}\}$ but this does not seem right

If 1 can be defined as the set that contains only the empty set then what of sets which contain one thing such as the set of people who are me. number 1 does not just mean $1$ nothing, it means $1$ ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Formulation VS Interpretation

I'm reading a book on Mathematical Physics and at some point the author says that we must distinguish between a "formulation" and an "interpretation" of a theory, although it's not easy to point what ...
0
votes
2answers
113 views

Is the “Most Important Property a Set S has” Necessary and Sufficient to Define a Paradox-Free Notion of Set?

About a year and a half ago, while I was looking on the Web for papers regarding the Russell paradox, I chanced to find an interesting concept. This concept was contained in what (for want of a ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Theoretical question of physical analogies to different O(f(x)) based characteristics of algoritms

I want to better understand the following concepts: "n!", "e^n". I.e. what is the physical analogy of the functions at the bottom of the message. F.ex. for the "n^a" and "log a x" where a equals to ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Why didn't Frege succeed in his attempts to reduce mathematics to logic?

My background: Sophomore-level understanding of mathematics and philosophical logic. All the explanations I have found online so far are either far too technical or too simplistic. Thanks in advance ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Where do natural numbers exist? [closed]

Do natural numbers exist somewhere, not necessarily a spatial location? I have always wondered this. I mean, you can't see the number 1, so where do numbers like 1 exist? I apologize if the question ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

What is the meaning/purpose of finding the “foundations of mathematics”?

I've read in a lot of places how there was a "foundational crisis" in defining the "foundations of mathematics" in the 20th century. Now, I understand that mathematics was very different then, I ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

particular property and completeness?

I was puzzeling with the almost standard definition of completeness: In mathematical logic and metalogic, a formal system is called complete with respect to a particular property if every formula ...
1
vote
3answers
268 views

How Do You Know If Mathematical Definition Matches Up With Reality?

This is probably one of the biggest question I have when learning some mathematics. I always wonder if I have a concept in my head lets say continuity. Lets I want this concept to be able to ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Formalized philosophy

I once recall a conversation with a friend who told me that his friend was taking a philosophy course where the ideas and concepts were formalized and done very rigorously. This really intrigues me. I ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Zero vs Infinity relation type

I'm not sure it should be asked here or in philosophy. Bertrand Russell in his book "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy" in chapter 7 when discussing rational numbers on page 66 says: "It will ...
6
votes
6answers
214 views

Interviews of famous modern mathematicians

I was wondering, are there any good collections of interviews of famous modern mathematicians? It can be text interviews, or audio or video recordings. I am not sure what exactly I mean by "modern". ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Why are divergent Fourier series all so 'HARD'?

I'm not sure if this question is appropriate or even making sense, but I still feel curious: why are every example of divergent Fourier series SO COMPLICATED? It usually takes pages to construct and ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

Complex analysis is more “real” than real analysis

In physics, in the past, complex numbers were used only to remember or simplify formulas and computations. But after the birth of quantum physics, they found that a thing as real as "matter" itself ...
10
votes
3answers
630 views

What is more important in Mathematics, Theorems or its Proofs?

Felix Klein once said, Mathematics has been advanced most by those who are distinguished more for intuition than for rigorous methods of proof. Till now I thought the opposite. I thought that ...
3
votes
3answers
333 views

The standard role of intuitive numbers in the foundations of mathematics

In my career I've been formed mostly in the formal side of mathematics, that is, standard set theory and every classical branch of mathematics that uses set theory. However, I am not pretty sure about ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

The Major Weaknesses in Ramified Type Theory

I am reviewing a paper on the major weaknesses of Ramified Type Theory in predicative second-order arithmetic. These four are listed as "weaknesses." But, I have my doubts. It seems at least that 3) ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Is it Theoretically Impossible to Demonstrate that Set Theories Are Consistent?

I have to present on the main realist and non-realist arguments for/against set theory. According to one of my sources, it remains a matter of debate as to whether any of the set theories' (ZF, NF, ...
36
votes
14answers
10k views

How big is infinity?

This might be more philosophy than math, but it’s been bothering me for a while. Question: If there’s an infinite amount of real numbers between $ 0 $ and $ 1 $, shouldn’t there be twice the ...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

Set theoretic realism

What are the main contemporary arguments for and against realism about set theory?
0
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1answer
28 views

Evolution of Relations

In Frege, one finds relations treated as predicates in complex terms. However, modern set theory appears to treat them as two-place relation. Is this correct? If so, when did this shift occur and to ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

A question regarding Worldly Cardinals and L

For some $L_\kappa$ in the constructible hierarchy, does there exist a $\kappa$ such that $\kappa$ is a worldly cardinal and that $L_\kappa$ contains all of the constructible reals? The motivation ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Abstract Objects in Logic

I am confused on the concept of extensionality versus intensionality. When we say 2<3 is True, we say that 2<3 can be demonstrated by a mathematical proof. So, according to mathematical logic, ...
10
votes
0answers
469 views

Is there any formal definition or reasonably good heuristic for mathematical 'interestingness?' [closed]

One of the projects I'd like to work on over the next several years in my spare time is a first order theorem prover similar to Prover9 to attack some of the TPTP problems, and it occurs to me that ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Does math have to be learned linearly?

I am asking because often times one doesn't know where to start in math. "Just learn what you need" is very vague and unspecific ... for example, assume I'm a beginner at Algebra and was considering ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Why do we formalize conceptions?

Why do we always try to formalize conceptions? Let's take the naive conception of sets, why do we try to write down a list of axioms? what do we earn in doing so? I'm looking especially for ...
3
votes
1answer
414 views

Do only certain people exceed at math well? [closed]

It's obvious if you look around that math has always been one of the toughest subjects in all areas, from federal-traditional public schools to simply people learning it as an autodidact, hobby, or as ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Difference between impredicative and predicative version of separation axiom

What is the difference between an impredicative and a predicative version of the separation axiom in ZFC: $$\forall x \exists y \forall z ( z\in y \leftrightarrow (z \in x \wedge \phi (z)) $$ What ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Are axioms chosen with the goal of “making things work” instead of some deep philosophies?

Are axioms chosen with the goal of "making things work" instead of some deep philosophies? If everything should be deducible, that is, provable from something else, then in this chain of deduction ...
20
votes
10answers
2k views

How can Zeno's dichotomy paradox be disproved using mathematics?

A brief description of the paradox taken from Wikipedia: Suppose Sam wants to catch a stationary bus. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Study of all published works of Bertrand Russell on foundations of mathematics: Please recommend his works.

Study of all published works of Bertrand Russell on foundations of mathematics: Please recommend his works. I think Bertrand Russell was a special mind and I set a goal for myself to study all his ...
3
votes
3answers
58 views

Logical 0, binary 0, decimal 0: are they the same?

Logical 0, binary 0, decimal 0: are they all the same in mathematics? A programming language might treat them differently, but is 0 just 0? No matter whether it is logical, binary, decimal, ...
4
votes
3answers
123 views

Disturbing the foundations of mathematics

I was curious of knowing if it is possible that an event "x" could disturb so greatly mathematics that we could be casting doubts on all the achieved results from the very beginning. I'm not sure if ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Why should we accept the existence of subsets $A$ such that neither $A$ nor $A^c$ are recursively ennumerable? And how can we persuade others?

Encode every pair $(t,x)$ (where $t$ is a Turing machine and $x$ is an input string) as a distinct natural number. Then the halting subset $H$ fails to be recursive. $$H := \{(t,x) \in \mathbb{N} ...
43
votes
16answers
4k views

Is a proof still valid if only the writer understands it?

Say that there is some conjecture that someone has just proved. Let's assume that this proof is correct--that it is based on deductive reasoning and reaches the desired conclusion. However, if ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

When is it useful to reduce mathematical objects to foundational levels and when it is not?

When is it useful to reduce mathematical objects to foundational levels and when it is not? Let's say you work in the field of computer vision, or else. How can you claim your method is optimal if ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Trying to understand Hintikka's logic of Knowledge and belief

I try to understand Hintikka's logic of knowledge and belief but am a bit stumped by it. I study " Knowledge and belief , an introduction to the Logic of the two Notions", (Kings College ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

Are there other approaches for the foundations of mathematics, other than logic and set theory?

Are there other approaches for the foundations of mathematics, other than logic and set theory? And why does set theory begin talking about objects and groups of objects. Is it proven somewhere that ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

If a set is a group of objects, then what is an object? [closed]

If a set is a group of objects, then what is an object? My best try at this is the following: An object is anything that we can discuss or think about, separately from everything else. It is not ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Question about the univalence axiom versus skeleta.

Here, Dan Licata writes: [Univalence] can be used to build algebraic structures in such a way that isomorphic structures are equal (e.g. equality of groups is group isomorphism). He writes ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Constructivist Interpretation of a Function

Lets suppose I have an exponential function $a^{x}$, and I desire to show that for any number $n$ in $(0, \infty)$, it is possible to find a value of $x_0$ such that $a^{x_0} = n$. The simplest proof ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Consistency of ZFC and the key assumption [closed]

I recently read this answer to a MathOverflow question that got me thinking. Very roughly, here's what the author of that answer says: Gödel's second incompleteness theorem implies that if there ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Do circles exist

So I was wondering about circles today and if they really do exsist. If you graph a circle in function mode, your equation looks like$$y=\sqrt{1-x^2}$$ Now for simple purposes lets take a portion of ...